of the popular role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons
(or, perhaps more correctly, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
) that first came out in the year 2000
. It took a step
away from its root
s in miniatures
, specifically the tradition
of trying to be somewhat historically accurate
, and towards a stronger tie
. It also change
d the system
in ways too large to be considered mere cleaning up
, yet too small to count
as a true overhaul
; the designer
s tried their hardest to make the game
while still being D&D
. In many people
, they succeeded.
Key features of the new D&D include:
- Most "checks" now work on the same d20 mechanic: roll 1d20, add applicable bonuses, and compare to a difficulty class. If you roll higher than the DC, you succeed. (On that note, Armor Class now goes up.)
- All ability score adjustments work on the same simple scale, and the bonuses quoted are the same for all applications of that ability score. (Incidentally, you now start gaining bonuses at a score of 12, not 15.)
- Saving throws now belong in one of three simple categories -- Fortitude, Reflex, and Will -- and are expressed as bonuses added to a d20 roll.
- The non-weapon proficiency optional rules have been replaced by a skill system which is part of the core rules. Characters can attempt to use many skills untrained. Some class abilities even depend on skills.
- Feats, which are custom-picked bonuses or mundane special moves for characters, have been added. Fighters get lots of extra feats.
- All classes have been rebalanced such that they all work on the same experience table and are about equally good at equal levels.
- The multiclassing rules have completely changed: instead of starting as a multiclassed character, dividing everything contributed to and derived from both classes in half, and advancing like a snail, you choose to either add a level to an existing class or a new class when you level up. In most cases, however, you need to keep all your classes more or less even or suffer experience penalties.
- Racial restrictions on class choice and level limits have been removed. In return, humans get an extra feat, extra skill points, and great multiclassing freedom.
- The alignment restrictions for many classes have been removed.
- The long sword, while still one of the better weapons, isn't necessarily the best weapon in the game, nor is fighting with two weapons necessarily the best way for your character to fight. Other options have new advantages.
- Half-orcs are available as a standard PC race.
- Three new classes have been added: the barbarian, the monk, and the sorcerer.
- Prestige classes, a new type of "advanced" class characters earn the right to take levels in through specific skill and feat choices, have been added and are detailed in the Dungeon Master's Guide.
- Intelligent monsters often have classes themselves, so beware.
And this is just in brief...